Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Asian-Americans Fret about Effects of Chill with China ; More Than Other Minority Groups, They See Their Standing Tied to US Ties with Their Countries of Ancestry

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Asian-Americans Fret about Effects of Chill with China ; More Than Other Minority Groups, They See Their Standing Tied to US Ties with Their Countries of Ancestry

Article excerpt

Regarded over the years as America's "model" minority, Asian- Americans are finding themselves surprisingly vulnerable to racist attitudes that are not quite like anything experienced by other minority groups.

For instance, while African-Americans have had to combat notions of inferiority, Asian-Americans have found that high achievement carries its own backlash.

And while immigrants from Latin America and elsewhere face a stigma of being foreigners, Asian-Americans often confront deeper questioning about their very loyalty and allegiance to the US.

Awareness of these issues, say a number of analysts, is stirring anew among Asian-Americans as they brace for what looks like a chilly chapter in relations between the United States and China.

The heightened diplomatic tension, resulting from this month's downing of an American surveillance plane in China, comes on the heels of other recent sources of discomfort for Asian-Americans.

The treatment of Wen Ho Lee, accused by the US government of stealing nuclear weapons secrets last year, was widely seen by Asian-Americans as having a racial component. And the political fund-raising scandals of a few years ago resulted in treatment of Asian-Americans that soured their relations with both political parties.

Each of these incidents has reinforced what Asian-Americans see as the paradox that, despite their economic and educational achievements in the US, they remain the target of stereotypes and suspicion.

What's more, their status in American society is strongly hinged to external relations between the US and Asia, a feature that sets them apart from the nation's other large minorities and is intensely frustrating for Asian-Americans because it is so beyond their control.

"The way Asian-Americans are treated in this country has been very much dependent over the years on relations between the United States and their country of ancestry," says Ted Wang, policy director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, based in San Francisco.

Military threat during World War II clearly affected the treatment of Asians and led to the internment of many Japanese Americans. But Mr. Wang notes that even during peace time, Asian- Americans have suffered from developments beyond US shores. During the 1980s, for instance, Japanese Americans and other Asians drew ire as a result of the stiff economic competition their region posed to the US. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.